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Header Plant & Care for Roses


Roses are beautiful, versatile garden plants that come in many shapes, sizes and colours. From patio roses and shrubs to tall climbers, there’s so many varieties to try growing this spring  

No matter what kind of garden you have, there’s a rose out there suited to every outdoor style, garden layout and condition. Choose from roses of almost every colour - pinks, purples, yellows, oranges and classic reds. Most love the sun, so they’re great to plant in those open sunny border areas where they’ll thrive. Roses with single or open flowers are perfect for pollinating insects. And of course, all roses make beautiful cut flowers for decorating your home   

Whether you’re new to growing roses or you’re a seasoned gardener, this guide covers all you need to know about planting and caring for your rose plants. Discover our expert advice and top tips to get your roses planted and thriving in the ground in time for summer, and for many more summers to come  

Red Roses


  • Roses typically start flowering in summer, but many varieties will repeat flower if deadheaded regularly  

  • With the right care, roses can last for many years – keep reading to find out our expert advice on caring for roses!  

  • Roses vary in size – from compact container patio roses to huge ramblers that can cover entire sections of your garden or grow up into trees  

  • You can buy roses in 2 forms:   

  • Containerised roses (November - March)  

  • Container-grown roses (available all year and ready to plant at any time)


Patio Roses


Shrub Roses  

Typically robust, healthy and repeat flowering, shrub roses provide colour long after many other shrubs have finished. They come in a vast range of sizes and colours, and some can even grow to 2m in height. Shrub roses are perfect for growing in mixed borders, larger containers, and of course within a dedicated rose garden.  If you’re looking for beautiful scent, opt for a David Austin English rose variety  

 Climbing Roses   

The perfect plant to add height to any garden - grow climbing roses up walls, fences, pergolas or trellises. Popular rose varieties like Hybrid Tea, Bourbons and English roses all come as climbers. They produce much larger flowers than ramblers, and can bloom repeatedly throughout the season  

 Rambling Roses  

Ramblers are far more vigorous than climbers but bear one bloom of many small flowers, usually in June. They need plenty of space and grow quickly. They look lovely growing up trees or cascading down a wall  

 Patio Roses  

These roses are compact and thrive in lighter soils. Their small size means they’re also perfect for pots. They’re easy to look after and remain compact if pruned each spring   

 Ground Cover Roses  

This is another type of rose ideal for growing in containers. They also look lovely at the front of borders or on banks, in case your garden isn’t perfectly flat. They spread and trail easily, and if given the right growing conditions, ground cover roses can also deter weeds!  

 Each type of rose come in their own range of varieties, meaning there are hundreds (if not thousands!) of different roses you can choose to grow. You may be asking yourself, with all these various kinds, where do I even start? Which ones do I pick? Which ones will look the best in my garden?  

At the end of the day, it's all about your personal taste. To start, and to narrow down your options, think about:  

  • What you want your roses to look like – bushy, showy, traditional, or dainty, many roses have different looks  
  • What you want your roses to smell like. If roses have one thing, it’s strong fragrances. Fruity or musky, sweet or earthy, what scent you prefer is entirely down to you - pop into store to smell and admire our rose plants before committing to growing your own  
  • What colour of rose would complement your other plants, garden furniture and garden accessories  
Climbing Rose-Pink Cloud


When to plant your rose varies depending on what kind you’ve purchased  

  • Containerised roses: Plant as soon as you buy them, usually late autumn or from late winter to early spring  

  • Container grown roses: Plant these at any time of year  

 TOP TIP FOR PLANTING ROSES: Avoid planting roses when ground is frozen or waterlogged, or during drought or unusually warm weather   

Roses Land


  • In general, roses love the sun and rich, moist but well-drained soil. Think about the conditions of your garden (the type of soil, how sunny or shady it is) and choose a spot your chosen rose variety will thrive in. Make sure to read the information on your rose before buying to ensure you’re planting the right rose for your conditions  

  • Whether you’re planting in the ground or in containers, ensure there’s plenty of sunlight. In fact, it’s recommended that your roses get a minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight each day. However, there are some roses suited to shade too, so you can still grow roses even if your garden is north facing  

  • When planting roses in the ground, avoid overcrowding with other plants. Planting close to other plants means more competition for moisture, nutrients and sunlight. For the best results, leave plenty of space between each plant – about 3 feet from other plants, and 2 feet from other roses  

  • Also avoid planting roses in exposed, windy areas. Fierce winds can cause roses to grow at an angle or even die. Make sure the soil around the base of your rose is firmed in, and use stakes and poles to hold your roses straight if necessary  

Orange Roses


  • Choose a spot in your garden with free-draining soil that doesn't dry out completely. In the soil where you’re planting, mix in well-rotted organic matter, such as farmyard manure, into the top 20-30cm of soil  

  • Apply a fertiliser over the soil’s surface and again fork this into the same depth as the organic matter  

  • To plant each rose, dig a hole roughly twice the width of its roots and to the depth of the spade’s blade  

  • Carefully tease out the roots of container rose plants so they can get as much nutrients as early as possible  

  • Place the rose in the centre of the hole, making sure the bottom of the stem is about 5cm below the top of the hole  

  • Fill the hole back in using the soil that was originally dug up, then lightly firm in and water well  

Rose Pruning


Watering Roses  

When to water roses?  

  • How often you water your roses depends on how much rainfall you get. For example, you’re unlikely to need to water in late autumn or winter, and you’ll probably need to water more in the summer, especially during heatwaves or in dry soil  

  • Keep an eye on how much rain you’re getting in the spring to early summer, but in your rose’s first few years after planting, you should water it every few days until it’s established. Roses are deep-rooted plants, so once they’re established, they can usually survive on the natural moisture in the soil   

  • For established roses, water them once a week, again depending on rainfall. As the flowers start blooming, keep an eye for any wilting petals. Petals can wilt in extreme heat, but they can also be a sign your rose needs more water. If this starts to happen, water immediately  

  • Roses in containers need to be watered more often than those in the ground – sometimes every day in hot weather. Water enough so that the compost in your rose container isn't drying out  

  • Make sure to water the soil around base of plant, not on the flower or foliage as this will damage the flowers and can lead to diseases   

How much water do roses need?   

As a guide, use the following amount every time you water each rose:  

  • Shrub roses – 5 litres  

  • Climbing roses – 10 litres  

  • Rambling roses – 10 litres  

  • Standard roses – 10 litres  

  • Patio roses – 5 litres  

Feeding Roses 

  • Roses are hungry plants, so they grow better when fed. Feed them in late March or early April before flowering, then again in mid-summer after their first blooms  
  • Once again, roses in containers will need to be fed more often than those in the ground as they have less access to nutrients. Feed container roses once every 2 weeks from mid-spring to late summer  

Mulching Roses


Mulching helps retain moisture and suppresses weeds. Like feeding, your roses grow much stronger when they’re mulched  

Mulch rose beds in early spring, from March onwards. If by autumn the mulch has disappeared, simply add a fresh layer before winter - this will be extra beneficial to the roses during periods of cold, frost and snow  

How to mulch roses  

  • Remove any weeds from your rose beds, then apply a thick layer (around 1 inch) of mulch around the base of your roses as well as on any bare soil nearby  

  • If mulching during warm weather or on dry soil, water well before mulching 

Pruning Roses

  •  Pruning your roses every year helps keep a healthy growth of flowers and allows you to control the shape of your plant. It’s generally quite quick and easy to do once you get the hang of it  

How to prune roses 

  • Always remove any dead, diseased or damaged shoots first  

  • Cut no more than 5mm above a bud, cutting in a downwards slope away from the bud. Keep your secateurs sharp to make the cleanest cuts  

Deadheading Roses 


To encourage new blooms to grow back repeatedly, it’s important to deadhead your rose plants. Deadhead them as soon as possible after each flowering, up to late September  

How to deadhead roses 

  • Cut back each stem to where the flowers stop growing - around 3 leaves down  

Weeding Roses 


It’s essential to keep the areas around your roses weed free – things like mulching can help deter weeds from growing, but you should avoid spraying chemical weedkillers near rose plants. It’s best to use a dutch hoe to remove annual weeds, but for perennial weeds you’ll need to use RoundUp to kill the roots – be careful that no weedkiller goes on any leaves of the ros